The most important lessons I have learned to is be flexible and not to have the same expectations for him as I do for my other two children in regards to his learning style. I cannot expect my youngest to sit in a chair and complete workbook pages for a prolonged period of time. He needs to move and get input in order for him to keep himself regulated.
Throughout this learning experience, I have thought about other parents who may be in the same situation that I am in: who are trying to teach their children at home. If you are on a tight budget, as we are, you might not have the money to buy all of the expensive teaching aids that are needed to help your child learn. I have tried to come up with learning activities that use things we already have on hand.
I thought I might start blogging about the activities I do with my little one and see if these ideas might help anyone else. I am not a therapist, but I do have a teaching degree, so I do have an educational background when it comes to creating some of these activities. Also, let me say that we do not do these activities every day. I adapt them to my son's mood, interests, behavior, attention span, sensory difficulties, etc. on any given day. What works one days sometimes will not the next, and vice versa.
So, here we go...
Counting Toys on the Scooter
My son loves stuffed animals, among other toys, and always wants to have them nearby when we are working. I have found that, instead of trying to keep the toys away from him while we work, it is easier and less stressful on us both to bring the stuffed animals into what we are learning.
I dump a pile of stuffed animals in the kitchen floor at one end of my kitchen and place a large storage container at the other end. I get my son's scooter (which I got online for under $20) and have him sit by the container. I have him roll to the stuffed animals, tell him the number of animals to pick up, then count with him as he places them in his lap. He then rolls back to the container and puts them inside. We repeat this a few times until all of the animals are inside the container.
You can vary the difficulty by changing the numbers you are counting to (we go to 10 right now). I also sometimes use two containers for him to put the stuffed animals in to work on his ability to follow directions by having him put the toys in the container I choose. You can change up the sensory input your child receives by having them run, hop, crawl, or gallop while moving the toys, too.
This activity does all of the following: reinforces counting, encourages following directions, provides sensory input, works on core strength, uses eye-hand coordination, works on gross motor movement, incorporates using the sense of touch(tactile), and probably works on some other areas I haven't thought of yet.
I hope you and your child enjoy this activity as much as we do. Have a great day!